Better Business Bureau Defends Yelp

By: Chris Crum - May 6, 2014

Rarely does a week go by these days in which there isn’t at least one report of business owners complaining about Yelp’s business practices. The latest one comes from an ABC affiliate out of Philadelphia, which conducted an investigation of its own.

Has your business had a legitimate gripe with Yelp? Let us know in the comments.

It says it was contacted by small business owners saying their favorable reviews were reduced because they wouldn’t pay Yelp to advertise. You know the story by now, I’m sure. This particular version comes from a Pizza place accusing Yelp of filtering positive reviews and lowering its rating after it refused to pay for ads. You can get the specific complaints here, but it’s essentially the same same story we hear time and time again.

Yelp always dismisses these accusations as conspiracy theories, and maintains that they’re simply not true, yet they just keep coming.

This particular report includes some words from the Better Business Bureau on the situation. Here’s the relevant snippet:

Better Business Bureau records show in the past 6 months over 50 complaints have been filed about what business owners call aggressive advertising practices.In the same time, over 100 businesses have complained about Yelp filtering out positive reviews.

“There are probably a lot more. There are probably 500, 1000 businesses out there that feel this has happened to them,” Gene O’Neill of the BBB said.

However, the Better Business Bureau tells Action News after investigating it doesn’t feel aggressive advertising is a part of Yelp’s business model and currently gives the review site an A+ rating.

You can see that A+ rating right here. Factors listed as the reason for the rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 1404 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

It does list 1,404 closed complaints for Yelp from over the last three years with over 500 of them listed as advertising/sales issues. 882 are listed as problems with the product/service. 570 of the total complaints were closed in the last twelve months.

The most recent review of Yelp’s complaints was done in April 2014, according to the site.

“Complaints concern, among other things, business owners who are concerned that their positive reviews are being filtered and negative reviews are remaining, potentially giving consumers a skewed view of their business,” it says. “Some complaints also concern business owners alleging that there are false or inaccurate reviews on their Yelp listing that Yelp will not remove, though the business owner has provided proof or substantiation that the review is false or inaccurate.”

Last month, the FTC disclosed that there had been 2,046 complaints filed against Yelp dating from 2008 to March 4th, 2014.

Yelp released its first quarter numbers last week, with an impressive 66% year-over-year increase in revenue, though the company still struggles in the profit department.

During Yelp’s earnings call, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said that as the company grows internationally, it sees complaints in other markets as well, with a specific “uptick in noise” in Germany.

Do you agree with the BBB’s rating for Yelp? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Yelp

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Scott H

    I had five total reviews for my business that had been approved as “useful” reviews. One of the reviews had been posted for a couple of months. On April 15, 2014 a Yelp representative called me to see if would like to advertise on Yelp for $300/month. When I told the sales rep I could not afford to advertise at that time, two of my most positive reviews were immediately removed. I have sent numerous e-mails to Yelp and and the sales person directly and no one will respond as to why the reviews were removed. The only reply I received was a cut and paste from their website saying they don’t favor advertisers. How can this kind of business practice go unchecked in this country? I filed with the FTC aling with thousands of other businesses according to this article. When is Yelp going to be held accountable?

    • Pel Abbott

      OMG — I didn’t read your post until after I posted mine! Yelp is a joke!

    • http://www.PalmSpringsHomesAndEstates.com Nancy Hankin

      If everyone who knows that YELP is a SCAM, gets the word out…..perhaps this kind of practice will soon disappear and YELP will leave while they run away yelling “YELP!”

      • http://www.shop.graciousstore.com/ Gracious Store

        If people who thinks that YELP is a scan and yells it out but never get a complaint across to BBB, BBB will have nothing to hold YELP for and will continue to give YELP a high rating

  • martinw392

    Yelp is a terrorist!! How can the BBB endorse yelp???, I don’t think they looked deep enough. Is it OK to to hijack someone’s business name and destroy their reputation based on how that website promotes you without your permission?, Is it OK to make the negative reviews front and centre and suppress any positive comments from actual customers and and then have negative comments about your business come up in critical internet searches making the business look terrible and cause that business to lose customers with no accountability?? in the music world if you use the music for any monetary gain you have to pay royalties but in the business world anybody can take your intellectual property, your hard earned reputation and use it to profit and destroy it without any accountability! Yelp must be destroyed!! Google “yelp extortion” and see the damage yelp is doing to small businesses!

    • connie

      the BBB is just as bad as Yelp!

  • Pel Abbott

    I think Yelp sucks. They are out to sell packages to businesses for advertising with them – and their salespeople are high-pressure. The length of time you must sign a contract for $300 or more per month is minimum of 9 months last time I spoke with them, though they tried to push me into a year. Furthermore, I wrote to them about a photo they allowed on one of my favorite bar/restaurant’s site — a penis with bees on it. They didn’t even review that photo for the WEEKS that it was posted there, even though they’ve downgraded most of our positive reviews to “Not Recommended” for some random reason. They only removed the pornographic photo because I complained. I think they SUCK in every regard.

  • Unyelpful

    We too, have had issues. We have 1 negative review from a person, who called to get a quote on a construction job. She was on speakerphone, I couldn’t hear most of what she was saying, asked her if she could take me off speaker, then finally I couldn’t hear anything. In my frustration, I said “I give up” and hung up. I didn’t have her phone # to call her back. I don’t have her name, and have never done business with her, but she is allowed to trash my business, not knowing the quality of work I do, and, because of her own rudeness. I have another one, where someone wanted a bid, but I was having surgery and would be out for 2 months and couldn’t do the work. I gave him the name of someone else. He didn’t agree with the payment terms of the other contractor, so he wrote a negative review on MY business about the OTHER contractor. Of course when I went to YELP, they would not remove either one, even though neither person was a customer of mine, and 1 complaint wasn’t even about me. And yes, they keep calling me trying to pressure me into advertising.

  • Mark

    Posting from an unhappy customer is one thing, but posting of fake reviews by someone that is not a customer and that is just trying to ruin your rating is a whole different issue. There is no verification process of a poster being a customer, and yelp’s policy of a vendor flagging a review as containing false information that ‘Yelp doesn’t get in the middle of customers and vendors’ is trash.

    Go yelp about Yelp at http://www.yelp.com/biz/yelp-san-francisco

    • connie

      we have had the same problem. a non client with a negative review about services that were not rendered trashed us (we provided a service to his neighbor). Yelp! displays his review on top, yet, REAL customer reviews get pushed aside or never show up. yelp! are crooks.

  • MsJoanne

    When I was at my vet last, since he knows I am in the computer realm, we wound up talking about Yelp and his complete disgust with their business practices. My vet has dozens of positive reviews, yet when he declined Yelp’s offer of advertising, if you go to his Yelp page, almost all the displayed reviews are negative, with all the positive ones being buried under a link – that doesn’t even look like a link – that says X number of “other reviews that are not currently recommended” way at the bottom of the page. Sorry, guys, this is extortion plain and simple.

  • http://www.talbotservices.com D Talbot

    The BBB is all about the BBB. Make them feel important, play their games and they lean in your favor. Get on the wrong side of a BBB employee and find your business suddenly is not shown in a positive light.

    I am a wed developer that has never had an issue with the BBB but has for 30 years watched from the sidelines as my clients deal with them. It is a bit like buying life insurance from the mob.

    I’ve also moderated the conversations between my clients and Yelp. It is interesting to suddenly see certain reviews pop up just before the solicitation. Some clients have done advertising and many have not. Yelp is a necessary cog in the SEM wheel. Advertising with them can work but one has to approach with caution. I think there is something there that bears closer scrutiny.

    Why did the BBB do what they did? Forgive my cynicism but I question how Yelp has handled it’s relationship with the BBB and how much Yelp pays for it’s membership with the BBB.

    • connie

      you PAY the BBB for your rating. the more you pay the better the rating.

  • CSR #1

    Lowers my opinion of the BBB with this review. There are 8 reviews of my business on YELP. Only the three negative, unsubstantiated ones are visible on first click. How many potential customers never look beyond those to see the honest reviews presented. Probably the majority. YELP is a JOKE!

  • Laurahen

    I totally agree that Yelp is dishonest. I am not a person who personally would ever gain or loose with Yelp, but I have seen negative reviews removed when there is an advertiser involved, as well as positive ones removed when there is not an advertiser. At least they do give a reader the chance to look at the removed positive reviews they do not count toward averages (not sure about negative ones at this time, previously they disappeared completely.

    They DO NOT DESERVE ANY POSITIVE RATING BY BBB!!!!!!

  • peter

    My business doesn’t WANT To be on YELP. Part of the problem is that businesses should be allowed to participate. Instead, some unvetted crook adds your business complains about an unwiped table and you are damned FOREVER. Even search engines pull this. Sure you can comment, but the rating stays their forever.

  • http://www.diacad.com diacad

    It does not surprise me that BBB endorses Yelp. Birds of a feather stick together.

    As a small business, I had an experience with a cold call from the BBB asking for an on-the-spot dues payment of $450 (by credit card over the phone!) – after a ten-minute interview with myself alone – frankly it was so disturbing I thought it might be one of many recent fraud attempts.

    After protesting that I do not make such snap decisions by phone, and wished to call back after considering the offer to seek affiliation with BBB, I was told that call-backs were not customary. However, facing my opposition, the BBB operative relented and gave the number of the NH BBB office so I could check to verify her bona fides. She even asked if I had two lines, presumably so I could do this while she was on the other line. This impulse sales technique I am familiar with, and it raised yet another red flag.

    Look at http://www.bbb.org/council/for-businesses/about-bbb-accreditation/

    Quoting the second paragraph…
    “BBB accreditation does not mean that the business’s products or services
    have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination
    as to the business’ product quality or competency in performing services.”

    …this essentially means that your $450/year dues are only buying the right
    to use their logo – not that your business shows any quality or competency.
    So IMHO they are a fraud, and maybe a protection racket, depending on
    whether you pay up. They are not guaranteeing anything to anyone.

    There is supposed to be a case out in California where someone is suing BBB
    for 200 million claiming unethical practices.

    • Bill Corbin

      That the BBB would rate as A+ any company with hundreds or thousands of complaints is easily the most astonishing news I’ve heard in the past 20 years. Their action speaks for itself and I will quietly sign-off and find some Aleve.

  • Nathan Mishler

    We have a five star rating on almost any site you can think of. Our Yelp rating is about 3 because of two one star reviews. One contains false information and the other never happened. Yelp however, reviewed our issue and decided they felt that they should stay. We tried to contact both of them and only one responded. The one that did respond never even used our company and was upset that we were more expensive than he thought we should be. I understand that we aren’t for everyone, but how do you judge our worth if you don’t even use us? Then they call or email me asking for money daily to promote my reviews. Yelp is a scam.

    • Chris McElroy

      Exactly. No one has to prove they did business with you in order to post a review. That makes the reviews completely useless.

  • Mike G.

    I have advertized with Yelp for by business at $300 per month for 12 months. It never paid off. Only received shoppers looking for a low bottom price for services. After I discontinued the advertizing, my one dead beat customers who gave negative review came to the top of the review list, and it was 3 years old! Then they allowed another negative review to appear from a person who we never did work for. I gave them an estimate for services which they didn’t like and yelped that I was over priced. It turned out they used an unlicensed, uninsured company for the job. The customer who complained about me was an attorney! And she hired a person who didn’t have a contractor’s license or insurance.
    I have been called on average 1 or 2 times per month from their sales department trying to pressure me to do another round of advertizing. I keep telling them no, I don’t want your advertizing, but they just keep calling. I’m afraid to be rude because they will turn on their filters!
    Yelp is not a trustworthy reference to the quality or reputation of a business. They
    have the leverage and they use it to try to intimidate customers to advertize.

    • Demetrios Salpoglou

      Yelp sucks it is the worst company ever. A bunch of people probably hired overseas hiding behind fake avatars. How does anyone take people seriously that hide behind avatars?

      Yelp unfilters avatars and fake posts but filters real people that you can find on facebook or linked in etc – Yelp sucks – It’s a horrible company…

  • Chip Winter

    The BBB is (like Yelp) more of an advertising model than an accurate depiction of “better business” companies, or accurate reviews. (That’s where “that lady’s list” found a niche — real reviews, not bolstered or affected by advertising — although they too ask the reviewed companies to buy advertising).

    I know a large number of companies that were originally given “bad” reviews by the BBB, but once the company “joined” the BBB, the rating jumped from a “D” (or worse) to an “A+” and the old complaints just faded away.

  • MS

    I frequent a small local chain coffee shop and have commented positively on their service for good reason – they really try hard to please every single customer. Every time my positive reviews last less than a day before they are deleted by Yelp – while negative reviews from problem customers (that I see time and again in the store causing trouble with outrageous demands and threats of posting on Yelp) persist. Of course this drives the manager crazy since she is pestered by her management to get positive reviews. I’ve written Yelp but as far as I can tell, their policy is to ignore and not answer users/reviewers who challenge their editorial policies.

  • http://www.thehouserlawfirm.com Hate Us On Yelp

    While Yelp never offered to unfilter our positive reviews if we advertise with them, they have filtered ALL 6 of our positive reviews none of which were solicited by us and none of which violated their posted guidelines. I find it odd that not a single one of our positive reviews meet their ‘filter’ requirements. I also find it odd that we have no negative reviews anywhere else and have never had a BBB complaint (we are a BBB member).

    • mark

      Hate us on Yelp… that made me laugh. Sad but true.

  • http://magie-illusion.kikouli.fr/ YannickMagic

    Vidéo récente de ma passion devenue mon métier de magicien professionnel et professeur de magie en cours collectifs , ou particulier à votre domicile. Lien vidéo Youtube: ( http://youtu.be/QybxQByqhI0 ). Magicalement votre… Yannick Magic.

  • Diego

    Wow I was about to cancel my add-words account and move to Yelp (more money) but with all this negativity and dishonesty I’m out
    maybe all those business owners should talk to a lawyer (class action suit) Yelp is making lots of money I’m sure they will want a piece of them
    BBB will endorse any big money maker, no matter what

  • http://www.BCIrent.com/ Donald J. Leske Sr.

    LOOK AT THE FIRESTORM you created Chris. Nice! Yelp the BULLY needs to be put in their place. All of us small business owners need to form a collective plan of action to deal with the harm caused us by Yelp.com and Yelp, Inc.

    Yelp gets a lot of attention from negative media as well as good. What has not happened, it appears, is there has been no good results from anyone’s efforts to put an end to their reign of terror. See: http://www.Yelp-Not.com and http://yelp-report.com …. my small effort to fight the bully. I am a webmaster and own a real estate brokerage.

    I had EIGHT [8] 5-star legitimate verifiable reviews deleted or filtered out, a couple were from 2014, while 1-star reviews from 2012 remain on the main page.

    I personally filed a complaint with the BBB in San Francisco. It was immediately closed and marked as settled.

    I DID NOT SETTLE…., IN FACT NO ONE CONTACTED ME, SO WHAT HAPPENED? I called and talked with a lady at the BBB and she said that is their process, since Yelp is so big …and the number of complaints they get are few in comparison, so they do not weigh against Yelp. (or something like that) By the way, I am an A+ rated paying “Member” of the BBB. I also paid Yelp $1,000 a month for Yelp advertising because they promised with “filtered” reviews …which sucked, they did a terrible job and I cancelled my ad, but was penalized two months payments for cancelling.

    I would be interested in hearing from and forming a unified group of interested business owners, who would be willing to organize as a non-profit mastermind group to discuss ways to not only fight against Yelp, ….but perhaps discuss ways to advertise free. It can be done, in fact I do a lot of advertising, some I pay for but a lot is also free.

    Ref: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/yelp-and-the-business-of-extortion-20/Content?oid=1176635 – A MUST READ ARTICLE ABOUT YELP!

    Kind regards,

    Don Leske Sr.
    BCI-properties.com
    BCIrent.com
    BCIwire.com

    • Chris McElroy

      Left you a voicemail at your BCI properties number Don.

  • Torbett

    This is another example of Internet Power strong arming small business.

  • IHISEO

    Everyone should just boycott Yelp.

  • Julius Murga

    Yelp is a racket, just like the BBB.

    • Sooz

      Exactly! This is a case of the kettle calling the pot “well polished.”

  • Yelphtr

    The BBB is nothing more than a company that works for businesses. If you pay them money and become a member (sending them all sorts of information on the inter workings of your small business) they will endorse you with a positive rating. If you do not pay them, but submit the requested information, they will give you a low rating. If you ignore them, they will publish your business with a “C” rating and report this:

    BBB Accreditation

    This business is not BBB accredited.

    Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

    To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.”

    So you see? BBB operates exactly as Yelp does. So OF COURSE they endorse the business practices!

    • http://www.loriswebs.com/ Lori Eldridge

      Even if you don’t pay BBB for their service, as long as you respond reasonably to every complaint, it’s very unlikely that they will drop your rating. Been there, done that.

  • Gene

    BBB is a bit of a scam. It’s in their best interest to give marginal businesses A+ ratings so the businesses keep paying to be included. I’ve dealt with terrible businesses that rate a A+ with BBB and BBB online. It’s not easy going on BBB and giving a poor rating to a company. Many hoops to jump.

  • Amit chakraborty

    I know it from last some years. As an ORM (Online Reputation Management) service provider I didn’t recommend Yelp at all but many of my clients still thinks that Yelp is good for their business I prefer Manta than Yelp for business listing and I only suggest my clients to go for google reviews as their is a plus you can rank on google for your local business which means a lot…

  • http://www.PalmSpringsHomesAndEstates.com Nancy Hankin

    WHY YELP IS A SCAM

    Seven of my clients took the time to write very nice REVIEWS on YELP letting others know why they
    recommended me as an agent to work with in our area. The reviews were well
    written and spoke about their experience and WHY they were recommending others
    work with me as well.

    Each Review was posted and I thanked each client for taking
    time out of their busy schedules to write such a nice review. Within two days,
    each Review was taken down by YELP, never
    to be seen again. Needless to say I was as shocked as my clients were.

    I contacted YELP via the Internet because there is NO PERSON to speak with at YELP. You
    are actually getting AUTOMATED SYSTEMS instead of human beings at YELP. Following
    is their canned response which I received each time I contacted them.

    ###

    Thanks for contacting us with your concerns.

    We use automated recommendation software
    to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews among the millions that
    are submitted to the site, but even some legitimate reviews don’t make the cut.
    It sounds like that might be the case
    here.

    We do not have the ability to manually showcase reviews that aren’t
    recommended. Keep in mind, however, that the recommendation software applies
    the same objective standards to every business and continually revisits each
    review to reevaluate its determination.

    -The Yelp Support Team

    ###

    Well, I also took the time to WRITE several Reviews about
    businesses I had worked with. I won’t be
    doing that anymore either. I don’t know about you, but I feel leaving
    AUTOMATED SYSTEMS do a job which involves thought and sensitivity, is a lousy
    way to do business. I will make sure everyone I know, doesn’t waste their time writing reviews on YELP
    because they will most likely be taken down within days of posting.

    Feel free to “pass this on” to everyone you know so they
    don’t fall for this scam. It’s quite obvious that YELP was the idea of a social
    networking guru who has hired a piece of software to monitor in-coming reviews.
    It’s a great way to sell advertising on YELP, but a poor way to do business
    with the public!

  • Grant

    Kinda makes me think twice about my BBB accreditation. Seems to mean less to me at least.

  • General Patton

    I have had one very negative review posted on Yelp for years, the only review. I have had several customers make positive reviews, but they were never allowed to show. I emailed YELP several time asking for an explanation, and asking that the positive reviews be posted. Of course… no response. There is no human you can call or email. I feel that Yelp is a SCAM! I’m sure that if I could afford to, and chose to advertise, those positive review would make it to the front page. They have caused me to loose customers and I really wish there were a way to make them honest.

  • CT Business Owner

    I receive a call a week from Yelp trying to bully me into paying. I have over twenty LEGITIMATE positive reviews filtered. If there is a forum in which I can post the phone messages please let me know. When I see the Arizona or NY number I absolutely “Do Not Answer”

  • Ed

    What Do you expect?
    The BBB is in the same racket scam. Charge people to advertise with them or give them an F rating. BBB scam-Yelp scam. What’s the difference. Why would anyone use BBB – People played around and registered HAMAS and other terrorist organizations with the BBB and got an A rating while Wolf gang Puck refuses so they give him an F. These guys are just modern day Mafia.

  • david harrison

    khj

  • david harrison

    Pertaining to yelp and the better business bureau.my experience is that people that are not in the multi billionaire for whom the bell tolls club are not entitle to justice or there equal work for equal pay and equal human rights. Those of us peasants that are $10.00 slave class for some union fuck organization. Or us sub adequate slave class rotting on disability pension are told to get the fuck out and get a fucking job.I do believe that yelp and the BBB are part of the multi billionaire ass hole hall of fame that like to eat and sabotage small businesses and keep servants down and in there place at work.And peasants that try to cross over the grand canyon to get from poverty to wealth will get pushed over the edge. because we’re not welcome by their kind.Be careful of pressing a law suite against Unions,corporate society the judicial system, and mental health association,and regular society.because they are cyber bashing liars that like to victimize insubordinates such as my self with defamation and mutinies and rob us of human rights,freedom of information and privacy,freedom of speech.You might find that you step in to my shoe and society,including gangs,drug dealers,sex trade workers,LGBT people will avoid you like the plague,just like me. If you like being celibut and single for 14 years.with a history of having had sex 20 times,only with females, over a lifetime.while being an abstainer from drugs,alcohol,the sex trade, drug trade, gangs and a LGBT activity.and then have the judicial system mental health association say that you play a roll in all the above and your more sexually immoral than jack the ripper welcome to my life.while they lock me out of every employment opportunity,business opportunity including gangs and the sex trade.Agian welcome to my world the more I know the more criminally insane and guilty I become to keep the truth behind bars.lets assume I know everything and government don’t want you to know what I know.and what I know is at http://www.anarchist.simplesite.com and http://www.change.org

  • Tom W

    Yelp tried to sell expensive ads to our business. They held back a review that contained speculation and vulgarity until we declined the ad offer. Then they posted it with a date preceding all of our ad discussions. They also deleted most of our positive reviews previously. They said that other reviewers didn’t have enough experience writing Yelp reviews, but the negative reviewer had no previous Yelps. Furthermore, when I complained that speculation and use of the “F” word to describe our business was not appropriate, Yelp said the review met their standards.

  • Katie

    About 7 or more years ago, 60 minutes did an expose on BBB, doing essentially what YELP is doing.
    I don’t trust either one. The fact that BBB is standing up for YELP is like a criminal defending another criminal in court. It has no value as both are guilty of extorting money from system – this is their modus operandi.

  • Mark

    Yelp is a joke. I’ve had legitimate customers raving about our service and tried to post a positive review there and it was hidden. We are in the property management industry and there is no shortage of people that get their feelings hurt because we required them to pay rent on time. Of course it’s skewed, and if they can’t see this then they are either lying or inept.

  • DARRELL

    Yes, it seems that
    this kind of abuse by Yelp would be fairly easy to analyze with a statistical model,
    showing the changes in Yelps behavior over time. I postulate that the BBB does not use
    such a model; Can anyone confirm this?

  • bridalpro

    Our experience is different. Yelp did contact us quite a while ago about advertising. We also did not agree to do so. However, I don’t believe our reviews were affected. Our overall review rating is good. But when I read our yelp filtered reviews I can see many good legit reviews in the bunch. Not sure why they were filtered. But I also see some not legit negative reviews that I am grateful were filtered (the same reviews weren’t filtered with Google.) So overall, I am satisfied with yelp. I realize it isn’t perfect, but we feel that the overall effect of the filter was in our best interest. (Note – I am sure I would feel otherwise if just good reviews were filtered.)

  • Rick S

    The BBB needs to consider the extremely high frequency (over 2000) of complaints as a factor in their rating system – clearly something is wrong with the service they are providing with that many people complaining.

  • Jason-mnation

    Hi all.

    I am based in the UK and follow your articles and been following yelp quite closely over the past couple of years. I believe that has significant potential and most companies have approached it from an online-only perspective.

    I feel there is significant opportunity in this space to cater to local businesses – that does NOT require advertising revenue, the leading cause of trouble with yelp these days. There remain unexplored revenue opportunities that yelp (or some other online directory) could leverage.

    No?

  • http://www.GetFoundMarketing.org/ David Scarpitta

    One joke of an agency reviewing another one? The BBB is infamous for doing the same if not even more devious activities in regards to heisting businesses reputations on the net. You can easily research all of the scandal on the BBB alone online. I’ve had my ratings personally affected on the BBB site lowered due to not “becoming a verified member” of their service. All in all, it’s 2 nonsense business models defending each others’ actions.

  • http://www.GetFoundMarketing.org/ David Scarpitta

    I suggest people take control of their brand, and stop letting these charlatans run the show. I can tell you, that there are a ton of ways you can protect yourself from their nonsense.

  • no

    BBB and Yelp both have widespread reporting of being shakedown artists.
    For the record I have no personal experience of this. However multiple reputable news sources have reported that the BBB will whitelist members without any checking whatsoever when they pay up.

  • connie

    We were pressured into signing up for Yelp! so that they would correct our information (phone number) and paid for a service where competitors would not be displayed on our page when people clicked on our company name. We didn’t receive the services we paid for and the NEW representative was no help. Now that they have our money, they have all but disappeared and when available, are rude and not helpful. Additionally, we have had legitimate customers submit reviews about our service, and Yelp! filtered those reviews out, while one bad review submitted by a NON CLIENTis consistantly displayed at the top!!!! Yelp! specializes in deception. Their costomer service, once an account is established, is terrible. They are plain crooks. We are A rated on Angie’s List and other than payment for Angie’s List and Yelp! have only had to rely on referrals for business. We have also been pressured by BBB to pay for their services, and since they have given Yelp! a top rating, will not sign up for the BBB and pay to have a good rating.

  • elise ambrose

    I can’t believe the BBB wrote this article in support of YELP. There are so many complaints about YELP. Every small business owner I know is furious about their good reviews being hidden and their bad ones being profiled. It is 100% clear that YELP favors advertisers. They have done damage to my business but hid all of the reviews after we challenged them on it. They are a scam. I am terribly disappointed with the BBB.

  • Demetrios Salpoglou

    It looks like if you read all the posts below it seems that nearly everyone thinks yelp sucks. Why should any reviews be filtered? What kind of scum company filters real reviews made by real people but unfilters fake people that you cant reach that hide behind avatars.
    Yelp is a joke.
    If you work there, how do you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror?

  • davids

    I’m a small business owner who also wanted to give yelp a shot so I inquired about it I spoke to one of there customer service representative and she told me all the good things about yelp but in the middle of her conversation she stops and says before we go any further I just want to ask you if you like everything you hear today there would be no reason you wouldn’t sign up for Yelp right and I said no if the price is right and I like everything in here then it shouldn’t be a problem she says ok she keeps going on so finally at the end of our conversation she says OK for the monthly rate on advertising for Yelp is 1050 a month I said a thousand fifty a month I really can’t afford that right now so I have a lot of stuff going on in my life wife is pregnant started having preterm labor so it was a roller coaster in the meantime I’m getting call after call after call from their representative at Yelp so I already had 4 reviews from customers and then I have gotten two more this was all before I had told yelp I can’t afford the services the whole time and I’m talking for months the reviews were up on my yelp site then after not having contact with Yelp all the sudden my reviews went in the not recommended section I just find it very funny how they were on there for so long but as soon as I stop getting calls from Yelp which I assume is after they finally got the hint that’s when my review started to disappear into the not recommended section and now it seems like every time I get a new review a old one is put in the not recommended section. I’m not a rocket scientist but I’ll tell you what  I don’t think you have to be one to see that this is a BIG SCAM